Product Type: Little Tikes Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... bought me one they did buy one for my son this summer. It was left to me to put together though. Several reviews I had read made it sound ... more
He Likes Driving In His Car
Little Tikes Anniversary Edition Cozy Coupe
Member Name: sandemp
Little Tikes Anniversary Edition Cozy Coupe
Advantages: Great Fun, Foot board for younger toddlers, mostly very durable
Disadvantages: Steering wheel comes off, Very Hard To assemble, Pricey
When I bought my original Coupe it cost under £30 as standard, so the first big shock I had was discovering how much more expensive they are nowadays. I mean, I know there's such a thing as inflation, but to buy an Anniversary Edition Cosy Coupe today you are looking at paying between £45 and £60 depending on where you buy it, which is an increase of between 50 and 100%. Now while this massive price hike didn't stop me from buying the Coupe, it did make me feel that Little Tikes are taking advantage of the popularity of the Coupe and the increase in price is unreasonable considering that some of their other products (the rocker, for example) have only seen a price increase of 10% over the same time period. While I still feel the Coupe is still very good value for money (more about play value later), I will still be removing half a star for the higher than expected price tag.
==Driving Mum Crazy or Assembly==
The Cosy Coupe comes supplied in a unassembled in a large, unwieldy box, it's not incredibly heavy, but I would definitely recommend that you either collect it using a car with a large boot, or even better get it delivered. Knowing from previous experience how large the box is, I decided to pay the small extra charge for the convenience of somebody else delivering it and carrying it up the stairs to my front door. As the box was delivered eighteen month old Freddy saw the bright picture of the Coupe on the front of it and got very excited, wanting his new toy "now", (which just goes to prove that they understand a lot more at that age than they can say). Knowing that I was going to assemble this and that doing so would take some time, I had to say no, meaning that there was one upset little man. The lesson in this story is to make sure your child doesn't even see the box before you have assembled the car, as this isn't a five minute job and certainly cannot be done while the child is milling about due to the small pieces.
While it is possible for one person to assemble the Coupe (I managed it), it is a time consuming, fiddly job that will fray your temper. As long as you work well together it would probably be easier if two of you work together, but it probably wouldn't take much less time. Having put one of the original Coupes together, I had a fair idea of how difficult it is and just how much it would try my patience and decided it was probably better to do it myself. The supplied instructions aren't the clearest or easiest to follow, comprising simply of pictures rather than any written instructions. I did manage to work it out in the end, but I do feel that if I hadn't had previous experience I would have found it even harder than I did. There is also the need for extra tools when putting it together, so make sure you have a hammer and screwdriver ready. Some parts of the assembly required a lot of brute force, which was where I really struggled, and others required putting screws in at a strange and awkward angle. All told it took me well over an hour to assemble the Coupe and it was a process that included a lot of loud hammering and a little bit of swearing as I couldn't quite get the parts to fit exactly together. After assembly, I was quite proud of myself, but I'm still not convinced that I got everything exactly as it should be as the "googly" eyes on the front don't seem to be quite flush. The final part of the assembly was the addition of stickers, I was quite pleased that there aren't too many stickers on the car, there are three on the dashboard, a smiling mouth on the front and the number plate on the rear, with the headlights and indicators being plastic buttons that are pushed into place. On a scale of one to ten, I would put the assembly difficulty at at least nine and a half and due to this difficulty I will again be deducting half a star from my overall score.
==Driving Master Freddy or First Impressions and Playing==
Once assembled the Coupe does look very smart and eye-catching, being formed of tough brightly coloured red and yellow plastic. The smiling mouth and friendly googly eyes make it look a little cartoon-like and I really do like these additions to the older version. As soon as he saw the assembled Coupe, Freddy was enamoured and the big grin on his face made all the hard work worthwhile. This is also quite a large toy being 29.5" in length, 16.5" in width and standing 33.5" high, so it takes up quite a lot of room. We have it in our hall, which is almost the size of a room and used as a play area and there's just about enough room for Freddy to try and whiz around.
Unlike the older version, this anniversary edition has two modes of play, with a foot rest that protects the feet of younger children as an adult pushes them and with the foot rest removed for independent play. We use both modes depending on whether this is played with indoors or out, using the footrest when out and about. The footrest is a little fiddly to position, but once in place is secure and I really like the fact that the single door can also be locked closed. Freddy loves to go in his car when being pushed on short journeys (to the park or local shops) and generally has a huge grin on his face as the turns the steering wheel, beeps the horn and pretends to drive. There is a cut out handle at the back of the Coupe that in theory makes it easier for adults to push it, but in reality it is still quite hard to control, with the 360 degree rotating front wheels having a bit of a life of their own. What I particularly like about using the Coupe in this mode is that Freddy is more than happy to go in it and cannot yet undo the little latch that holds the door closed, whereas he is now at an age where he is less than happy to be confined in a stroller but not a confident enough walker to be out of it and can be very vocal about his displeasure.
While the footrest is put in position while outside, when Freddy plays with the car indoors it is removed so that he can push it along with his feet. Before I go any further I should probably point out that due to hypermobility, Freddy's gross motor skills are a little delayed and he has only just started taking his first tentative steps, so most toddlers would probably be more efficient in how they play with the Coupe. We also have the door unlocked and Freddy loves to spend time opening and shutting the door before getting in to play. Although there is a steering wheel this doesn't actually steer the Coupe so all power and control come from the child's feet. Although he can't manage to go forwards (yet), Freddy loves being in the car and within an hour he had worked out how to go backwards and even steer a little with his feet, which goes to show that a child doesn't necessarily need to be walking to successfully move the car. As with when he is being pushed, Freddy loves to pretend to drive by turning the steering wheel, he also likes to flick the ignition key. He does get a little frustrated with the horn though, he knows it should beep, but at the moment it is just a little too stiff for him to operate. He's not discovered the clicking ignition yet either, but I'm sure that will come. Another aspect Freddy hasn't yet discovered is the open and closable petrol cap, as with the horn this is a little stiff at present, but will be great.
If I were to ask Freddy's opinion of the Coupe I'm positive he would give it ten stars out of five. He absolutely adores it and plays with it every day without fail, on the very first day he received it he spent two whole hours sitting in it, pretending to drive (backwards) round the hall with a huge grin on his face and plenty of giggles.
==A Car Is For Life Not Just For Christmas or Play Value==
Although Freddy is at the lower end of the recommended age group and has only had the Coupe for a short while, I have previously watched the joy that four much older children got from a Coupe over a number of years. One thing I will say is that the addition of the footrest means that the Coupe is now suitable for younger children, I would even say that a year old confident sitter would get pleasure from being pushed around and it would be safe enough for them (after all you'd be supervising as you're pushing). The previous Coupe certainly received plenty of attention, being played with indoors and out by children ranging from fourteen months up to seven or eight. It does get to be a bit of a tight fit once children reach the top end of the recommended age group, but I have honestly seen an eight year old just about squeeze themselves in.
As they got older the way my older children played with the Coupe also developed and changed. Starting with simply pushing themselves around the room (or garden) and moving on to role play (which was enhanced with the addition of the petrol pump accessory) and cooperative play as one child pushed another around. There is a reason why these Coupes are so popular with pre-school children even though they don't feature any fancy lights or electronic sounds, and that is because they are quite simply fun and tap into the child's imagination and have done for the last thirty years.
==Fasten Your Seat Belts Please or Durability and Safety==
Obviously we've only had this Coupe for a relatively short period of time, but I did buy it with the knowledge that the older, classic version survived many years of play from four children of various ages without problem (including the odd occasion where there would be one child inside, another on the roof, while yet another would be pushing). Looking at the actual body of the anniversary edition I'm perfectly satisfied that this, at least, would survive similar treatment, but there are a couple of aspects I'm not that convinced about. One of these aspects is the steering wheel, that rather disappointingly is all too easy to pull out of it's housing. I'm not sure whether this is an inherent fault or due to me not quite understanding the assembly instructions correctly, I don't know, but either way it's not good. Anther problem I can see are the very cute googly eyes, yes they look nice, but I struggled to fit them and I can see them quite easily snapping off, should force be used. The final real issue I can see is the use of stickers for decoration, I can categorically, from experience say that there will come a point where these are investigated and pulled off. I should also point out that while leaving the Coupe out in the elements won't adversely effect it's actual structure, it will cause the colours to fade quite dramatically.
Safety-wise, I do feel that the Coupe is as safe as it could be as long as the child is supervised. The design of the Coupe is very stable, with the four wheels being well spaced and if used correctly there's little chance of it falling. Of there will come a time when a child doesn't play with it correctly and it will topple, but it's fairly light and there shouldn't be much more damage than the usual bumps and scrapes. One thing I'm certain of is that it won't fall apart under Freddy no matter what abuse he throws at it.
==Parallel Parking or Final Words==
I'm struggling a little on whether to recommend the Cosy Coupe Anniversary Edition or not, on one hand I as I stated right at the beginning I do think that there should be a place in every toddler's toy collection for a Cosy Coupe and I love the addition of the foot board in this version. But on the other hand I don't feel this is quite as well made as the older, classic version, what with the problem with the steering wheel, the addition of the googly eyes is little more than cosmetic and the difficulty level of assembly is horrendous. I also think the huge jump in price is ridiculous, but at the same time I don't regret buying this for one minute Freddy absolutely adores it. So I'm going to give the Cosy Coupe Anniversary Edition four stars out of five, recommend it to the parent's of toddlers from about a year up to four or five. But I'm also going to advise that unless you are proficient at DIY you try to find a good condition second-hand model before forking out for brand new.
Summary: A must have for any toddler's garage